Liminal is inspired by the paintings of the River Thames by J.M.W Turner, Whistler and Claude Monet. The aim is to capture an ethereal quality that is rarely obtained when you look at the surface of the river. The River Thames is opaque and mysterious giving you no idea of its depth, what lives in it or its liquid history.

The artwork encourages the public to look again and view the river through a mercurial and kaleidoscopic lens which creates an architectural painting of the river and its context.

The artwork blurs the boundaries between 2D and 3D through a variety of mirror, satin and matt aluminium and stainless steel panels that focus and alters viewers’ perception and experience of the river. The sculpture also includes a downloadable app called Liminal which is connected to a sonar buoy; this expresses the real time movement of river life and currents, sourced directly in front of the sculpture, as light and sound. 

The installation is a result of a design competition organised by the London Festival of Architecture and the City of London Corporation and forms part of City’s outdoor arts programme, Fantastic Feats: the Building of London. It is sited opposite Tate Modern next to Millennium Bridge.

 Liminal expresses my first impressions of the river and suggests the life, mystery and activity that lies beneath it”

Wolfgang Buttress


• 4.5-metre-high x 6-metre-wide sculptural installation
• a variety of mirror, satin and matt aluminium and stainless steel panels
• aluminium framework


London Festival of Architecture / City of London

Wolfgang Buttress


Acoustic Engineers and App developer
Hoare Lea

Structural Engineers
Price & Myers

Aluminium Institute

Images Courtesy Sam Scales